Friday, September 12, 2008

Errors In High Places

I've been hearing a lot of talk the last six months about the number of copyediting errors that are turning up in published books. Some folks (myself included) believe we're seeing an increase in the number of errors that are appearing in books from well-regarded publishers.

Kirus Reviews recently carried an essay at its website called Reader Beware in which the author, Vicky Lewis, writes about "one of the best young-adult books of the year", which was denied a starred review because of the excessive number of copyediting errors that ended up in the published edition.

This essay was a hot topic at one of my listservs last week and came up at a second one more recently. I find the whole issue more interesting given that people within the kidlitosphere had already been talking about copyediting problems.

The loss of a starred review may not mean a whole lot if this book truly is one of the best young adult books of the year, as Lewis contends. Presumably it will get plenty of attention, anyway. For mid-level authors like myself, the loss of a starred review can be a very big deal. My own publisher purchases advertising for books that receive two starred reviews, or, at least, that has been my experience. So a modest book that had a chance for two starred reviews and lost one would miss out on support from the publisher and additional sales.

Don't take this as criticism of Kirkus. If anything, I think this is an indication of how bad the editing situation has become.

You should, of course, ignore any copyediting errors in the preceding post.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home